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Shannon Krohn: Get outside your comfort zone

Staff Sketch

As Associate Director of Executive MBA Program, Shannon Krohn works carefully with the student services team and faculty members to deliver a very high-level of service to executive MBA students. Shannon plans events, ensures student success, arranges the details of their international practicum, and so much more.

“It’s so cliché, but it’s true: The thing I like most about my job are my students. They’re high-level working professionals and they are so interesting and inspiring to me on a daily basis,” Shannon says.

“I don’t know how they do it. It’s awe-inspiring. They learn from us. But also, I’ve learned so much from them,” she says. Working with EMBAs has taught Shannon to anticipate pain points.

“I just want everything to go smoothly. If we don’t address an issue right away, it can sour the whole experience,” says Shannon.

Shannon is proud of many things in her professional life, but one that stands out is when The Economist ranked E. P. Carey’s EMBA No. 12 in the nation.

“I feel like I played a small part in helping us be recognized globally. That was a really good moment,” she says.

About a year and a half ago, Shannon began working with W. P. Carey’s China programs, the W. P. Carey EMBA program in Shanghai and the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Global Financial Management program with Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

“We organized a trip where we brought the Arizona EMBAs to meet the China EMBAs and it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve been a part of,” she says.

Shannon says she couldn’t do it without the support of her team.

“I love the people I work with,” she says. “They make coming into work every morning a real joy.”

In some organizations, you can get lost in the crowd and feel like just a number, says Shannon. “But here, everyone cares about each other.”

“Working so closely with the EMBAs, you really get to know them, their partners, their kids, and what’s going on in their career.”

“I can name every student from every cohort I’ve worked with, and I still keep in touch with most of them. It’s all about making those connections and living that business is personal philosophy in your daily work life.”

Shannon received her BA in communication from ASU. Shannon previously worked with EMBA students at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. After a brief stint at a national cosmetology school, Shannon had the itch return to traditional higher education.

She joined W. P. Carey in 2013. “I had applied for a different role, but the associate dean who had interviewed me at the time noticed I had experience working with EMBAs. Then a few months later she called me and offered me a position.” Shannon was excited to return to her alma mater.

When she’s not being an obsessive dog mom to her Maltipoo, Finn, you can find Shannon shopping, hiking, or snuggling up with a good book.


What have you learned on another job that you’ve applied at W. P. Carey School?
I learned – from my last boss – get comfortable being uncomfortable. Which is good advice because it’s helped me deal with the fast pace of change. Acclimate to that, don’t let it shake you. Be willing to take it on when new things come your way.

What’s your favorite W. P. Carey School event?
W. P. sCarey – I like to dress up, and I like the creativity that goes into all the unique costumes.

Where is your “never fail” lunch spot on or near campus and what’s your favorite menu item?
For lunch, you can typically find me eating peanut butter and jelly Uncrustables at my desk.

What was your first job and what did it teach you?
I had a newspaper route. It taught me that the newspaper does not stop when it snows. Punctuality. I had to get up early and do my route before school.


If you could be in any other career, what would it be?
I could see myself being a travel blogger, exploring different places and cultures and writing about it.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would love to play along the Amalfi coast in Italy and drink Limoncello all day.

Where is your hometown and what is it best known for?
I’m from Crystal Lake, Illinois – not too far from Chicago. It’s best known for being a recreation spot. Boating is the popular pursuit in the summer, and ice skating in the winter.

What was your best vacation or your most favorite place to travel?
Maui – it’s truly paradise. The fresh fruit, the refreshing water, the smell of plumeria everywhere, and the laid-back attitudes are divine.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Sometimes I think it would be cool to know what people are thinking. But then I think, I don’t want to know what they are thinking.


Salty or sweet? Salty
Coffee or tea? Diet Coke
Soda or energy drink? Soda
Cat or dog? Dog
Truck or car? Car
Board games or video games? Video games
Fiction or non-fiction? Non-fiction
Facebook or face-to-face? Face-to-face
Breakfast or lunch? Lunch
Morning person or night owl? Morning person